ReadAskChat coaches parents to engage in natural, enjoyable, and daily dialogic reading with their young children. Dialogic reading involves back-and-forth interaction between adult and child around text, art, and concepts found in books. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends dialogic reading beginning in infancy as a way to make a significant difference in children’s educational lives.

Unlike most education apps —which tend to be digital versions of worksheets, puzzles, or games— ReadAskChat meets the four criteria that experts say education apps must promote to be effective: active thinking, deep engagement, meaningful content, and social interaction.


Children need a critical mass of high-quality picture books in the home toencourage daily reading. Our growing digital library includes a wide range of short, idea-rich stories, verse, and science and math features that reward repeated readings. We do not include distracting voiceovers, sound effects, or animations because these would detract from the essential activities of reading and talking. We invite children to be active participants in the imaginative experience.

ReadAskChat is adult-mediated because young children only learn language and social-emotional behaviors from their caregivers—not from digital sources. When families ReadAskChat together, their exchanges are inherently meaningful, and lay a strong foundation for open communication about what matters most throughout childhood and youth.


ReadAskChat offers parents an accessible way to become more responsive to their child’s particular interests and needs. Open-ended conversation starters at three developmental levels—baby, toddler, and preschooler— are story-specific and coach parents in our innovative method of dialogic reading.

Developmentally appropriate MORE! activities linked to each selection extend enjoyment and learning.

These child-adult pursuits build on the ideas and themes explored through the readings and range from singing, drawing, and hands-on play to further reading, collaborative writing, science exploration, and family fun.

Above all, ReadAskChat fosters learning by focusing on the individual child—on his or her perceptions, questions, and enthusiasm. The ReadAskChat design was created to facilitate caregiver attentiveness, flexibility, and responsiveness.


ReadAskChat can involve any family in early learning because it was designed with an understanding of how children from six months to five years learn best.

ReadAskChat aligns with widely accepted school- and reading-readiness measures in the cognitive and social-emotional realms, including:

Curiosity and initiative in learning

Identity of self in relation to others
Social and emotional understanding
Relationships and social interactions with familiar adults

Reciprocal communication and conversation
Understanding of language
Responsiveness to language
Communication through expressive language
Interest in literacy
Concepts about print
Symbol-letter-print knowledge
Comprehension of age-appropriate text
Rhyming and phonological awareness
Letter and word knowledge

Number sense and quantity

Knowledge of the natural world
Cause and effect
Inquiry through observation

Day/night; seasons
Relational concepts (e.g., big, little)

Dancing / movement
Expression through drawing


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